Barracudas Activity Day Camps / Holiday Clubs | Review


This is a collaborative post.

The stress of finding suitable childcare for your little ones during the holidays can be huge, especially when you want to make sure it's not only fun and exciting for them, but also of great quality and affordable too. Barracudas Activity Day Camps want to take away that stress though, with the help of their holiday camps.

What is Barracudas?

Barracudas Activity Day Camps offer quality childcare at their holiday camps over the Easter break, Summer holidays and half terms, for children in England aged 4.5 to 14 years. Starting off 27 years ago with just two camps (in London and Surrey), they have since expanded to include 48 summer camps, 35 Easter camps and 3 half term camps in a whole range of locations in England - see below for full list of locations.

What sets Barracudas apart from other camps is that they really care about the children they look after. They want them to have an amazing experiences and learn new skills, but ultimately they want them to have fun! They also think about the full package - everything from the camp venues and available activities, to the staff is considered to make sure you get the best service possible. All staff are experienced and hold the correct qualifications, and correct child/staff ratios are a top priority too

What to Expect During a Day at Barracudas?

Barracudas Activity Day Camps aim to provide flexible hours for working parents. Regular days are from 8.30am to 5.30pm, however you can add on early and late club, to extend the day from 8am to 6pm. Do keep in mind that Barracudas do not supply any food, so you need to provide lunch and snacks for your child while attending a camp.

The Ofsted registered camps aim to provide fun and exciting experiences, all catered to the age of the child as well as their own interests and personalities. There are 30 sessions each week where children will have a choice of activities, plus larger pieces of camp kit, such as a giant inflatable assault course and rodeo bull that travels between the camps. Examples of activities include team building, foam fencing, go-karts, crafts, swimming, sports and a whole lot more. Of course there is plenty of down time too where the children and given the chance to relax and hang out with their friends, as well as plenty of snack breaks!

Every Friday Barracudas also run a special 'theme day', where children are encouraged to dress up and join in with themed activities. Of course they are completely optional to join in with, but they do add that extra level of fun that most children absolutely love.

Booking and Prices

Booking onto one of the Barracudas holiday clubs is really easy thanks to their well laid-out website. You can either book full weeks or pick individual days depending on your needs. This makes them perfect for all needs; if you need childcare while you work or you're simply looking for some fun activities for your children to enjoy over the holidays.

The more sessions you book the more money you save, which is another benefit of booking with Barracudas. They also offer a sibling discount if you have more than one child attending a camp. For my local camp the day rate is £40 which I think is great value for money, especially when you consider the length of the day and all of the activities included. 

If you have a child care account (including Tax-Free Childcare) you can use this to pay for your booked sessions - part of full payment accepted. And if you think you might find it difficult to pay for session in one go, you can opt for the easy payment plan which allows you to pay a deposit, and then spread the remaining cost over monthly payments.

Booking is open now for most Easter and Summer camps, click here to find your local camp!

What to Consider Before Buying a Family Home


Before having children my priorities for a home were understandably much different to what they are now. I wanted all the pretty knick knacks and decorative items, and flowers in beautiful vases dotted about. But if you have children then you'll know that actually these things aren't really as important (or practical) anymore! In this post I'm going to share 4 things I think you should consider before buying a home - especially if you have plans to have a family in the future.

The location of your home is definitely something you need to consider when looking at properties. Check public transport links if you need to travel for work (or rely on these to get about like me). A local shop and pub can make an area feel much more of a community, and can come in handy when you run out of something and don't want to drive to the supermarket. Also take into consideration whether you want to stay in a location close to family and friends. Moving away can mean a fresh start and new adventure, but could also mean leaving family and friends behind. Finally if you are planning on having children definitely check the location for schools - this can be a deal breaker for some!

Space / Size
A house may feel large and roomy when you first look around, but add in all of your furniture (and yourselves) and it can soon feel much smaller. It's a good idea to take detailed measurements and then try and picture the space with your furniture in place. Also consider the number of rooms you require too, especially if you're planning on having children. They take up a lot more space than you think (and so do their toys)!

Personally I love open plan style kitchen / diners. But I know for some they much prefer to defined separate spaces and a door that they can close at the end of the day. As a family we spend a lot of time in these rooms eating as a family, reading books and doing homework, and of course playing too. So this is area is definitely a priority with a family. The number of bathrooms in a property is important if you have a growing family too. There's nothing worse than someone needing to use the toilet when another is having a shower! Walk in showers for the home would be an amazing feature in an en-suite.

Outside Space
Probably not so essential during these horrible winter months, but having some kind of outside space is definitely crucial when buying a family home. Somewhere to dry washing in the warmer months, and a space for children or potential pets to run around and let off steam. Even if you don't plan on having children for a long time, a garden is great for social gatherings and relaxing in general.

Are you looking at buying a family home? What's most important to you?
This is a collaborative post.